Substantive Change Policy
Office of the Provost
Academic and administrative officers who can initiate, review, or approve changes in the University's programs or activities that may be considered a substantive change according to SACSCOC policy.
Liberty University, as a member institution, is required to notify the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) of changes in accordance with the SACSCOC published substantive change policy and, when required, to seek approval prior to the implementation of the changes in a timely fashion. The SACSCOC policy statement, Substantive Change Policy and Procedures, outlines institutional responsibilities related to the reporting of substantive change.
Substantive changes, as well as those required by federal regulations, include:
Additionally, SACSCOC mandates the following:
To ensure continuing compliance with the policies of the Commission on Colleges, as well as 34 C.F.R. § 602.22
Definition of Glossary Terms
See Appendix B: Glossary of the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy and Procedures.
Identification of substantive changes related to programs and program changes reside with the respective Deans of Liberty’s colleges and schools in conjunction with consultation with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and review of curriculum proposals by the Undergraduate or Graduate Administrative and Curriculum Committees of the Faculty Senate. Curriculum proposals go through a formal approval process, facilitating assessment of substantive changes by the stakeholders.
Final determination is the responsibility of the Online Provost and/or the Provost/Chief Academic Officer. Letters of notification and substantive change prospectuses are prepared in a collaborative arrangement by the respective Dean initiating the program or program change and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, with final approval by the Online Provost and/or the Provostthe Provost/Chief Academic Officer.
Identification of substantive changes at the Institution level is determined by the SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison and the President.
All letters of notification and prospectuses are submitted to SACSCOC by the Accreditation Liaison.
If an institution is non-compliant with Substantive Change Policy and Procedures or Standard 14.2 (Substantive change), its accreditation may be in jeopardy. An unreported substantive change may require a review of the institution’s substantive change policy and procedures document by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees. Non-compliance subjects the institution to monitoring, sanction, or removal from membership. Failure to secure approval, if required, of a substantive change involving programs or locations that qualify for title IV federal funding may place the institution in jeopardy with the U.S. Department of Education, including reimbursement of funds received related to an unreported substantive change. For additional information, refer to Appendix A, Standards and Policy Addressing Unreported Substantive Change, in the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy and Procedures document.
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